A party (usually at an sf convention) attended only by netters. An attendee gains access by stating his/her net address.


Short for "ACTIve FAN". Implied activity in fanzine fandom and usually at least one other area (conventions or clubs initially but now includes the internet) of the microcosm. (Archaic but making a comeback.)


Title of Francis Towner Laney’s 130pp fannish memoirs (or “ME-moirs,” as he called them), written in the late 1940s, in which he detailed his fan career up to 1946 and the Pacificon, excoriated a number of individuals in fandom in general (and LASFS in particular) for their pomposity and too-serious attitudes toward the microcosm, declared himself to be an amateur journalist rather than a fan, and explained what had caused him to become (along with his friend Charles Burbee) an Insurgent, moving from a sercon philosophy of FIAWOL to become the foremost exponent of the fannish philosophy FIJAGH [see these two terms; Laney is credited with coining the latter]. ASI provoked immediate pro-and-con comment in the microcosm itself; some disputed the facts and others the propriety of describing the LASFS as a nest of ineffectuals, homosexuals and fuggheads (which term Laney also coined). Today people frown on the cruelty of his gay-baiting but it is generally agreed that, this aside, FTL had an uncomfortable amount of truth and right on his side.

AJAY (a.k.a. "A.J." or "ayjay," for Amateur Journalism)

The name which participants in mundane amateur press associations gave their hobby, which predates and partially inspired fandom's apas. Mundane apas differ from fandom's in two important respects–they do not have either [1] minimum activity requirements or [2] a maximum number of members. The vast majority of mundane apa members over the years have been hobby printers as opposed to hobby writers. H.P. Lovecraft published 13 issues of The Conservative for the United (UAPA) and National Amateur Press Associations (NAPA) between 1915 and 1923, and thus indirectly influenced Donald A. Wollheim and John B Michel to found fandom's first apa, the Fantasy Amateur Press Association (FAPA), which is still churning out mailings. Over the years, a number of actifans have belonged to and participated in the mundane apas and quite a few people who started in ajay made their way to the fan apas. As a result, many actifans (beginning primarily with Francis T. Laney in the mid-1940s) prefer to be called "amateur journalists" or "amateurs" rather than “fans” (as Hugo Gernsback designated us). “Amateurish” remains a pejorative but “amateur” comes from the Latin amare, which means "to love," making amateurs people who do things for the love of doing them. And, paraphrasing Walt Willis, those who hold that professionals are invariably superior to amateurs are doomed to prefer the ministrations of gigolos and prostitutes to those of willing and imaginative lovers.


Acronym for All Knowledge Is Contained In Fanzines. The phrase, introduced by Charles Burbee, is tongue-in-cheek. At present, to make it a little more egalitarian, it is sometimes rendered as All Knowledge Is Contained In Fandom.


An archaic fan term, borrowed from the legitimate theater, used to describe the “patrons“ who supported them with grant-sized donations that enabled them to function at enough of a profit to continue without charging ruinous admissions or requiring that the actors, writers and stage crew starve to death. With regard to fandom, in the 1940s and through the 1950s, “angels“ tended to be fanzine patrons who provided sufficient cash to individual fan editors to finance, for example, a lithographed cover or something else equally special. The act of carrying out this practice was called "angeling" and one would say that a fanzine with such a benefactor had been “angeled.”


Fans who live and fan their ax in the United Kingdom – England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Also sometimes rendered as UK fans.


Name given to generally stfnal Japanimation, and the people who enjoy it. Deleting lengthy explanations about exceptions and/or offense taken to this simplistic definition; it's easy enough to understand that the second term can give rise to offense if what should be pronounced "Japan-imation" is instead pronounced "Jap-animation." Let's not go there.


The anniversary issue of a fanzine, in many instances with an attempt being made to make them larger and sometimes even better than regular issues, the ANN being short for “Anniversary“ and ISH being short for “issue.”.

APA (Amateur Press Association)

A system much like the internet's bulletin boards, but conducted via snail mail and actually producing dead tree artifacts in the form of apazines – or, in less convoluted terms, a means for generating and distributing fanzines. Some apas are designed for discussion on specific topics (e.g., APA 69, sex; REHUPA, the Robert E. Howard apa; CAPRA, the movie apa, etc.) but most are general interest.

As already noted under “ajay,” there are differences between mundane and fannish apas. Ever inventive, fans have devised a second apa template even more distinct from the mundane model. For the fannish apas that most resemble the mundane version, each edition (called a "mailing" or "distribution") contains the preprinted personal informal fanzines (apazines) produced and submitted by the apa‘s members. These apazines generally include (and sometimes consist mostly or entirely of) “mailing comments” – responses to material published in the preceding mailings or distributions – and they are sent/given to an elected official (sometimes called Official Collator [OC)] or Official Editor [OE], although further variations are possible) who assembles mailings/distributions consisting of one copy of each zine and gives/mails them out in a batch to each of the members. To remain a member, one generally must meet minimum activity (“minac“) requirements, usually defined as a certain number of pages of original material within a given timeframe, plus (in most instances) pay dues to defray the costs of bulk postage for the mailings/distributions that are not handed out and the publication by the apa’s OC or OE of the Official Organ (OO) which accompanies them.

The fannish variant on this is generally an apa of fewer members which publishes an edition monthly or better, in which the members submit material to a single editor who publishes them in a single fanzine; sometimes the publisher is one person elected (and dues cover the expense of publishing) and sometimes members publish in rotation in which they cover the expense of their own publication; in this kind of apa, the single combined publication is the apa mailing/distribution.

In the mundane apas like NAPA and UAPA, one simply pays dues; publishing activity is encouraged but not necessary and there is no requirement to send all "papers" (as they call their apazines) to the entire membership, either by post-mailing individually or by submitting a required number of copies to the OE when seeking distribution in a mailing.

The mundane versions are all distributed quarterly, and the fannish apas initially copied that, but – never to be pigeon-holed – presently there are fan apas whose distribution intervals are weekly, every two weeks, every three weeks, monthly, every other month, quarterly and yearly.


The first weekly (and local) fannish amateur press association. The largely overlapping membership of two 1960s New York City fan clubs, Fanoclasts and FIStFA, which met on alternating Fridays, allowed the two clubs to serve as the apa's distribution sites. The genesis of APA-F began when Dave Van Arnam and various Fanoclasts got involved in an incident (see "Subway Incident") after a meeting, which Dave was urged to write up. He began doing so in a fanzine he titled First Draft, which he began publishing and distributing every week at subsequent alternating FIStFA and Fanoclasts meetings. Dave worked as a professional typist and mimeographer in a Times Square mimeography shop, so on Fridays it made a kind of sense for him to stay long enough to write and run off an issue before going to Fanoclasts [in Brooklyn] or FIStFA [in Manhattan], rather than leave work for his apartment in the Bronx [twice as far in the opposite direction] before turning around and heading back to whichever club was meeting that week. When, within a matter of a few weeks, other members began publishing and bringing fanzines to the meetings for distribution in a similar vein, an OO was published on site and APA-F got started. It was killed off, by generally mutual agreement, after 69 mailings.


The second weekly apa, distributed at meetings of LASFS (which provides the space and lets its Gestetners be used but does not actually officially “sponsor” the apa). When APA-F was in its infancy, some people in Los Angeles heard about it and even began contributing from afar (having someone in New York City fandom act as agent, franking their zine into the distributions and picking up a copy to be mailed to them). In a short period of time, given that LASFS meets every Thursday, their members instituted their own apa along similar lines, APA-L, with the first distribution dated October 22, 1964. Unlike APA-F, APA-L has continued to this day. Given their frequency and that length of time, some interesting records have been achieved. The last time this was posted, the Official Collator of APA-L, Tim Merrigan, had just completed his 18th year in that job. When both groups were at their height, Dave Van Arnam was publishing four weekly fanzines–two for APA-F and two for APA-L–some of them 20pp or more in length. And Fred Patten was the "Cal Ripkin" of APA-L, having a contribution in at least each of the first 1900+ APA-L distributions. Other records have not been reported to this source but no doubt exist.

APA-NYU a.k.a. APA-nu

Another apa which revolved around a local fan club, in this case the New York University Science Fiction Society (NYUSFS). In the winter of 1973-74, Samuel Edward Konkin III, a.k.a. SEK3, paid a visit to southern California, attended a LASFS meeting and participated in an APA-L collation. He came back to New York eager to start an analogous club apa for NYUSFS, apparently unaware that APA-L had been inspired by APA-F, the weekly apa which was collated at the alternating biweekly meetings of FIStFA and Fanoclasts. With Richard Friedman, then and forever Mayor of NYUSFS, he launched APA-NYU (or APA-nu, where nu is the Greek letter) in April 1974. Collations, nominally monthly, were actually a bit irregular in its early years, but by the end of 1978 were achieving that schedule as well as page counts as high as 100, with their September collations being done at Worldcons. Marc Glasser chose the title of Official Self-Appointed Agent and Collator (O.S.A.A.&C.) and began doing ToCs and announcements pages after Konkin moved to Los Angeles. At Corflu 7 in 1990, the APA-NYU Collating Team won the coveted Egoboo for fastest error-free performance in the Collate-Off.


The first local apa for Las Vegas Fandom got started in late 1993, a mere two years after Joyce and Arnie Katz, having moved to the area, paid their first visit to the local club SNAFFU, opened their home (“Toner Hall”) to monthly less formal Socials (the third Saturday of the month), began an invitational group (Las Vegrants) for fanzine fans (the first Saturday of the month) and effectively introduced the fans who attended to the idea of fanzines with a series of oneshots titled The Vegas All-Stars. The constitution of APA-V, drafted by the first OE Ken Forman, was a masterpiece of simplicity: “Fans should devote all of their energy to two Activities. (1) Doing fanac, pubbing their ishes, writing articles for other ishes, creating art, etc. (2) Sex.” Often with less than a half dozen participants, the early distributions remained small until a feature was introduced that became a cornerstone of APA-V: the Group Topic. Ideas would be tossed around at the gatherings until one struck their fancy. No one was obliged to stick to that topic, but it did provide focus and began producing larger distributions. JoHn Hardin, Arnie Katz and Ross Chamberlain served as subsequent OEs until, in the fashion/tradition established by APA-F (of which both Arnie and Ross had been members and participants), APA-V ran its course of 66 distributions, the final mailing appearing in April of 1996.


APA-X, later called Apex, rose like a Phoenix from the ashes of the Carbon Reproduced Amateur Press (CRAP) to become the microcosm’s first “secret” apa while continuing CRAP‘s practice of being invitational (allowing its members to cast a blackball against anyone proposed whom they disliked or did not feel comfortable with). By “secret“ it was meant not only that the group was not to be mentioned elsewhere in fandom but that its mailings were to be considered the equivalent of personal DNQ/DNP correspondence, not to be randomly shared with non-members. More specifically, Andy Main scuttled CRAP but immediately invited those he considered to be on more congenial and intimate terms with each other into the newly formed group, dropping most of the fans who’d been in before the membership expansion, particularly those he considered to have been in the group just to maintain their status as omniapans or who were not active in other areas of fanzine fandom. The group did not succeed in maintaining it secrecy, obviously, or it would not be mentioned here, and its publications were eventually to be found in the collections of some of those who had been excluded, but it did allow, for several years running, those who remained in the apa to talk about some intensely personal subjects, including but not limited to expansive love and recreational drug use.


Plural of APA. But not much used. Fans sometimes say "Data is" too, even when they're not talking about the android or making a statement like "Data is a plural."


Somebody who (arguably) spends too much time writing for apae and/or who expends most of their fan activity in apas.


An apazine is any zine that is distributed through an apa, whether or not it has any additional outside circulation.


The Astral Leauge [sic] has been called, to some effect, a dubious cosmic cult, hyped in mystery and invented by Leeds Group fan D. West in the mid-1970s. All rituals, initiations and hymns are strictly optional, the central dogma being that neophytes must give 50p to D. West. Exerts vast yet mythical influence over practically everything. Of the Astral Pole initiations, it is probably wisest not to speak at all–but, then, when were fans ever wise? Comments have ranged from “They're probably doing it in trendy bondage clubs all over London without realizing where it came from.“ to “They're doing it all wrong–they're not charging 50p!“ Performance of Astral Leauge hymns have been known to cause hardened filk-singers to reel away, shaken to their very bowels.


A set of Canadian achievement awards somewhat similar to the Hugos. Like the Hugos, they honor both professional and fannish categories, but are voted on Canada-wide by fans at the annual Canvention, essentially the closest thing to a Canadian national convention. The Auroras are administered by the CSFFA (Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy Awards) Committee. The first Aurora was a single award known as 'The Coeurl', subsequent awards were called 'Caspers,' but later the name was changed to the more dignified and thoroughly Canadian 'Auroras.' CSFFA is the proper, technical term, albeit not particularly catchy-sounding.


The first convention just for fanzine fans–unless you count the very earliest conventions at which virtually all attendees were involved in fanzines and clubs and conventions, to one extent or another. But once fans began distinguishing themselves by identifying with a primary area of interest, Autoclave–held in the Detroit area, hence the name–was the first. A good idea which was much enjoyed but no one at the time thought of passing the convention around to other groups across the country, which meant that as soon as the Detroit-area fanzine fans who put it on got tired of putting it on, it ceased to be. Corflu, and then Ditto, came along later and learned from this mistake..


A tongue-in-cheek philosophy, promulgated by Roger Price, picked up by many fans during the early 1950s. It is important to note that Avoidists, as the practitioners were known, did not (as one might suppose) simply avoid other fans, but rather got other fans to avoid them. Price cited an uncle of his as being the Ultimate Avoidist, since he had a speech impediment which caused anything he said to come out sounding like, “I had one grunch, but the eggplant over there.” You need only imagine attempting to initiate a conversation wish someone whose replies seemed to be limited to that phrase to understand why he would subsequently be avoided at all costs.


A group of hecklers at NyCon II who were unwilling to pay $7 for rubber chicken to be able to attend the banquet (a decade before $1.39 could purchase a T-bone steak meal at a chain of NYC restaurants) but nonetheless wanted to hear Al Capp’s GoH speech and see the ceremonies which followed. The Balcony Insurgents included Bob Tucker, Boyd Raeburn, Jean & Andy Young, Dick Eney, Ron Ellik, Ted White, Larry Stark and Richalex Kirs, which is to say, some quite prominent fans of the period, not all of whom were impecunious but who nonetheless objected to paying such a high price for indifferent food. Following the meal, convention chairman Dave Kyle had the doors closed when they gathered in the hall outside the banquet room, arguing that since they hadn’t paid for the meal, they shouldn’t get to hear the speech. After the speech, they moved to the balcony to see and hear the rest of the ceremonies and became hecklers when a helper was sent to tell them that Dave had said they couldn’t sit there. It was the fact that most of them subsequently wrote up the incident in the con reports they published in their fanzines which gave rise to a catchphrase that continued to be used for many years – "Dave Kyle Says You Can’t Sit Here." The assumption was that Kyle was motivated by pique with perhaps a hint of projection, since he’d over-guaranteed the banquet, which put the convention in the red. Kyle remained silent on the matter for close to 40 years, but eventually in the pages of the Hugo-winning fanzine Mimosa claimed he'd been told by a Fire Warden that the balcony was off limits and his helper should have made it clear that Kyle was only been passing on that message. Several of the Balcony Insurgents pointed out that, even if true, for some reason this was only enforced immediately after the banquet when these other festivities were going on.


Lee Jacobs wrote these pulp-style parodies for the Spectator Amateur Press Society (SAPS) during the late-50s/early 60s, featuring Wrai Ballard as the Resourceful Hero and various SAPS members in supporting roles. The first chronicle was a Mickey Spillane takeoff, “Wrai Ballard, Private Eye,” while the second featured “Six-Gun Ballard, the Mesquite Kid.” A group of LASFS members organized by Bjo Wells (later Trimble) formed Unicorn Productions, a limited film company which made two films for showing at conventions, a fantasy/joke entitled The Genii (with Fritz Leiber, Forry Ackerman and Bjo) and The Mesquite Kid, an adaptation of LeeJ’s second chronicle, which had (among others) Terry Carr, Miri Carr and Charles Burbee in featured roles. It was during the filming of the latter that Terry reportedly said to Burbee, “I understand you have a big part,” and Burbee famously replied, “Yes, I do, but I’m not going to whip it out and show it to you.”

Updated January 8, 2006. If you have a comment or question about the content of these Web pages please send a note to rich brown. Comments or questions about the pages themselves should be sent to the Fanac Webmaster. Thank you.

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